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Former Clayton sheriff remains in Gwinnett jail

Former Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill

Former Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The embattled former sheriff of Clayton County, known for drastic staff cuts and a swashbuckling stance on crime, remained at the Gwinnett County Jail on Thursday in what's known as "administrative segregation," buffered from the type of suspects he's again vowing to clamp down on.

Former Sheriff Victor Hill was indicted Wednesday on 37 counts, including theft, making false statements and racketeering, for crimes allegedly committed while in office, beginning in 2005.

Hill famously axed 27 Sheriff's Office employees during his first day on the job, posting snipers on the roof that day for what he called safety reasons.

Sheriff's Department officials in Gwinnett agreed to house Hill for security reasons. His bond has been set at $50,000.

Despite his incarceration, Hill told media members this week he plans to regain his post as sheriff. His reelection website takes aim at what he calls rampant crime in Clayton County and the "fiction" that has circulated about him in recent years.

Hill's attorney, Musa Ghanayem, said his client is "doing great" and expects to be free on bond soon.

"We're going to make bond," Ghanayem said. "I don't have an answer (as to when). I'm hoping as soon as possible."

Lt. Sean Smith, Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department spokesman, said the bonding process will be handled by the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.

"Though (Hill) is in a housing unit with other inmates, he's not interacting with them," Smith said. "He has a separate free time and he occupies a cell by himself."

Grand jury proceedings are generally secret, but Hill was allowed to sit in and talk to the panel because he was an elected law enforcement official. He lost his office in 2008 to Sheriff Kem Kimbrough.

Hill told reporters this week he looks forward to defending himself and said the charges are politically motivated. Kimbrough said it's about accountability and the integrity of the office.

Hill has also been ordered to surrender his passport, remain in the state and not contact witnesses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.